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M&S wins court battle over Oxford St store demolition

15:35, 1st March 2024
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Marks & Spencer (MKS) Follow | MKS has come a step closer to demolish its main store on London's Oxford Street after the High Court ruled that a decision by government minister Michael Gove to block the plan was unlawful.
Gove who has jurisdiction over housing and communities last July refused permission to redevelop the store near Marble Arch in the capital. In response M&S, which had become increasingly vocal in response to the campaign to stop the destruction, started a legal challenge.

He said the plan would "fail to support the transition to a low-carbon future and would overall fail to encourage the reuse of existing resources, including the conversion of existing buildings", but judge Mrs Justice Lieven ruled he misapplied planning policy.

Gove also failed to justify why the new development would not cause wider harm to London's West End shopping district, despite M&S having stated it would leave the site if it could not redevelop the store.

The government still has the option to appeal against the ruling and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said it was "considering our next steps".

Environmental campaigners opposed claimed the project would release 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and said the building, built in 1929, should be renovated to modern standards.

Oxford Street was one a mecca for overseas shoppers but in recent years has lost its lustre as a visitor destination with the arrival of a plethora of fake chocolate and souvenir stores.

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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